Walking in Paris can at times be very frustrating, particularly on Champs Elysees. In the US, people tend to walk like they drive left shoulder to left shoulder. In Paris, people walk anywhere, and you are constantly darting through people coming at you. It is extremely tiring. Not sure who is worse, the tourists who stop dead in their tracks in a mob of people, or locals who will walk right at you without even attempting to give you space to pass.
Also, having a slight disability makes it difficult for me to see distances, like where stairs start, etc.(I see most everything as flat) I can't believe the amount of stairs that come out of nowhere, with no handrails. How do those who are wheelchair bound make it around?? Not to mention the uneven sidewalks, narrow, narrow sidewalks, etc...
I LOVE Paris, but this is my biggest challenge. My first trip to Paris, in 1997. We were exiting Metro Odeon, when an elderly man fell, and was obviously in big trouble. My friend was a flight attendant, so immediately starting helping him, gave him cpr, etc. He didn't make it. As an extremely sensitive person, I sat down on a bench and was pretty torn up over the whole incident. This man walked over with a classical guitar, and played me the most beautiful song. He knew what was going on, and went out of his way to soothe me. It was a surreal experience, that still gives me goosebumps when I think of it.
Disappointing Musee d Orsay
You will probably love this museum, most everyone does, but I however could not stand it. The building itself is very interesting and was originally a train station built for the 1900 Paris Worlds Fair. The art Nouveau building is definitely one of the best aspects about this museum. The collection is nice, but how they have decided to showcase the artwork is an abomination. Really horrible. I felt claustrophobic due to the way they created compartments within the museum. They went with some weird, out of context, Sumerian designed large off white cubicles that bisect the interior space. They look like dressing rooms. It is so awful. Plus some of the paintings on the second floor are so poorly lighted, it was hard to view them. Maybe they did that for preservation purposes, but I've never seen that done before. This museum really bothered my sensibilities. One of the nicer things about this museum is the upstairs restaurant with a gorgeous clock and very nice open space. They also have some beautiful art nouveau french furniture that is lovely and exhibited in a much better way than the rest of the museum. Their American Impressionist wing is also pleasently displayed. I think i would only go back for the upstairs restaurant.
Check out their webstie for more info:
this is paris,divided into 20...
this is paris,divided into 20 'arrondissements',it means boroughs,like in london:
paris 1er,2e,3e,4e are the oldest parts with many museums,very old houses,one of them was built in the 14th century
paris 5e,6e is the latin district,in reference to the university'la sorbonne',it is a district with many students that you will meet boulevard saint-michel or boulevard saint-germain,it was famous in the 1960s,but now it is less exciting
paris 7e,8e are very rich,la tour eiffel is in the 7e,and many administrative buildings;champs-elysees is in the 8e
paris 9e,10e,11e are now medium boroughs,with cheaper flats and many immigrants
paris 12e,13e,14e,15e are not so bad;the middle-class live there most of the time
paris 16e is the richest part with many consulates
paris 17e south is very rich,around place de l'étoile,
paris 17e north is awful
paris 18e is montmartre,with pigalle which is also on north 9e;it was the district of the artists,now it is part of the paris 'gaza strip'
paris 19e and 20e were popular areas fifty years ago,and it was very nice to go there at night,with many typical pubs;the famous singer Maurice Chevalier loved that district,one of his song is called:menilmontant,which is in paris 20e;now paris 19e and paris 20e look like the southern part of beirut,with a difference,beirut is much safer,because there is no United Nations Army in Paris to prevent and stop conflicts
If you try speaking french...
If you try speaking french first, they will be nicer to you. For maximum results, speak french first and the move to english with a foreign accent (just make sure it isn't french...Icelandic is a safe bet). If you do that, they will be really nice to you. This does not apply in Disneyland, there they are forced to be nice to you.
When you come back do NOT forget to save original packagings of all good you bought in Paris. Just in rare case you have to return something. Add bills haha :-))).
Look at my pic. Hmm... order a truck better.